Friday 28 December 2012

The Gary - Remains

Album review by

On the surface it would seem like Austin, Texas trio The Gary deal in a fairly straightforward version of garage-rock, mixed with hardcore influences here and there. They'd probably appeal to fans of Future Of The Left maybe, but without the hallowed status that band have earned. It's hard-edged guitar music; simple, honest and sometimes brutal. The riffs hark back to grunge, the drums pound and the vocals are spat and half-spoken, a bit like Pixies with a political agenda that they were really angry about. The songs are heavy but they're not metal, they're intelligent but they're not indulgent.

Yes, The Gary have a fire in their belly, some instruments that they want to punish and a message to drill home. The opening quartet, particularly 'Innocent Bystander', show this side of the band brilliantly, even though we're looking at a niche market. If at first you don't succeed then it's worth trying again as there's more to them than meets the eye and the songs unravel themselves over several listens. When we reach 'The Evidence' a change of pace is brought in and breaks the (what at first seems like) monotony, but that anger and power is still there, it's just a touch more considered and makes use of faint strings embedded in the mix.

The punk heart returns on 'Spending', almost like early, ragged Pearl Jam covering 'Ticket To Ride'. Things get more interesting on 'Idleness & Velocity' where they let their sound stray, becoming more free, and the result is more psychedelic and could almost be labelled as shoegaze, it's possibly the stand-out track. Once those shackles are shaken off the band roam further afield, with 'Monozona' slowing things further, although it remains loaded with guitar. 'Water Song' continues down this route and despite its rawness almost feels anthemic. 'Remains' is a good, solid album from a band who know exactly what they're doing, but they're at their best when they experiment that little bit more.

The Gary's website

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